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28th Nov 2020

“The greatest goal we’ve ever seen would’ve been chalked off”

Patrick McCarry

Maradona goal

“It’s an absolute assault!”

Since news broke of the passing of Diego Armando Maradona, the footballing world has been reminiscing about some of the Argentinean’s finest moments. For all his glory days at Napoli and wild times at Boca and Barcelona, many of us have lingered over that sublime Maradona goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

On their way to World Cup glory, a Maradona-inspired Argentina defeated England 2-1 in the quarter final. Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ flick over Peter Shilton had Argentina 1-0 up when he stepped up with a slaloming run that left five England players in his wake, to double the lead.

Ahead of their Premier League coverage today, BT Sport asked pundits Joe Cole and Peter Crouch to look back on Maradona’s second goal against England, and let them use all the video analysis tools at their disposal.

“I got told I was doing this last night and I couldn’t sleep,” remarked Cole. “You’ve got to pay homage to the great man. He’s given us great moments of artistry on the football pitch.”

However, before the former England internationals got into Maradona’s mazy run, they discussed a hefty Sergio Batista tackle on Glenn Hoddle and claimed today’s modern Video Assistant Referee system would have ruled out the goal.

COLE:  First of all, we’ve got to pick up the great man there – Glenn Hoddle… and we just want to talk about what VAR would have made of this challenge, which I missed over all these years.

CROUCH: I don’t think anyone has ever talked about this! It’s an assault.

COLE: It’s an absolute assault! And whenever you talk about Maradona, there’s an asterisk because of the era he played in. No England player has even batted an eye-lid (about that tackle on Hoddle). Look at the ref. He’s got a great view of it but he’s not batted an eye-lid. Look at the crowd, there’s no-one…

CROUCH: No-one on their feet. That’s a straight red in this day and age.

COLE: Straight red.

With that, host Jake Humphrey jumped in and asked if Cole and Crouch thought VAR would jump in, had that happened in 2020, and suggested the goal be ruled out for a foul on Hoddle. Cole agreed before Crouch added:

“The greatest goal we’ve ever seen would’ve been chalked off.”

Given the era the goal was scored in, Cole joked that Terry Fenwick, who was already on a yellow card for an earlier foul on Maradona, could have gone “wallop” to end the Argentinean No.10’s run just outside the box.

After the video plays out with Maradona sitting Shilton down and side-footing home, Crouch remarks, “Every touch is just perfection.” Hard to argue with that.

“You know when you see genius,” Cole exclaimed as they played the goal back at full speed. That Maradona goal was just that – pure genius.

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